Amityville II: The
Possession (Region 0 - PAL
Sound: B+ Extras: B- Film: B-
PLEASE NOTE: This is a DVD that can only be
operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs set for Region Zero and the
PAL format, and can be ordered from our friends at Xploited Cinema through
They have this and hundreds of other great, usually very
hard to get titles that are often long overdo to his the U.S. DVD market. Be sure to visit their site for more details
on that as well.
This should be the last Amityville review that I undertake
for some time now, and I’ve seen enough of these films in the past few months
than most people will see in a lifetime.
This entry in the series wasn’t terribly bad, but perhaps a little bit
mislead in its intentions. Much like
all of the earliest entries into this series, this film finds a lot of its
tricks taken directly from other popular horror series of the time... but it
isn’t like almost all of the later movies weren’t prone to this as well. This movie in particular ends up owing a lot
of debt to The Exorcist and The Omen, focusing - as the title
makes clear - on possession, rather than on the normal goings-on you’d find in
a typical haunted house story. Here is
a movie that oftentimes smacks you in the face with what it has stolen rather
than subtly adding bits and pieces in here and there to achieve greater effect. Still, by the end it has all melded into an
entertaining curio of a movie and something all horror buffs will feel
compelled to own in one edition or another.
Much like the case was with Amityville 3-D, this Sanctuary
edition feels like a luxury car of the DVD world; and even with a mediocre
movie like this, you’ll probably still be showing off these editions of the
films with pride. The care taken to
release these films properly will not go unnoticed by the import crowd who seek
the best they can get out of their DVDs.
Damiano Damiani, who has typically directed lesser-known
Italian horror fare over the years, directed this particular entry. His best-known accomplishment is probably
the 1967 spaghetti western - A Bullet For The General. Another prime and noteworthy film within
that genre which was directed by Damiani would be A Genius, Two Partners And
A Dupe; a Sergio Leone produced feature that included a score by Ennio
Morricone. Outside of those two films,
you won’t find much else within the reaches of popular or even semi-popular knowledge. Because of this, it’s unusual that he was
ever selected to direct this film at all.
But to be honest, the chosen directors for each of the theatrical
releases in the Amityville series were all fairly obscure ones. The exception to this was for the third film
- but even with that, Richard Fleischer hadn’t had many noteworthy projects for
several years until being called in for a few big-name Dino De Laurentiis
productions. In the end though, all did
what needed to be done and pulled off a triad of decent horror films.
As good news for those looking to pick up Sanctuary’s
releases of the second and third films in the series to compliment MGM’s dandy
newer release of The Amityville Horror, both films are region-free. The only catch is that you need a player
that can convert PAL to NTSC - but there’s a decent chance that your current
player can already handle that task. If
not, it’s up to you to track down the player that best suits your needs, but
the search is well worth it in order to acquire this far superior release of
the film. To start with, the movie
looks excellent and sports a new 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is
at the very least a marginal improvement over the recent MGM edition. The sound quality is also very good, and
you’ll have the choice of either the original Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track,
or a newly created Dolby 5.1 surround track.
Both sound excellent - and again, there is an improvement in this
department as well over the aforementioned stateside release.
The bonus features contained here are where this DVD
really begins to take off in the right direction. You get everything from lobby cards and a booklet detailing
certain aspects of the film’s production and release, to an excellent
commentary track with movie critics Kim Newman and Stephen Jones. This track is fun to listen to, and is very
informative - essential listening for everyone who buys this edition. However, as good as it is - it isn’t quite
stack up to the one found on Amityville 3-D... it just seems that they
were more on the ball later in the day when that one was recorded. Looking for the best version of this movie
stops here, and if you decide to splurge on it instead of opting for the U.S.
boxed set, you’re sure to be pleased with what you’ll have paid for. If interested in purchasing a copy of this
movie, we recommend checking out Xploited Cinema. Accessing their site can be done through heading to www.xploitedcinema.com, where you‘ll
find a window to the vast market of foreign and some of the more obscure
stateside DVD releases. Hopefully
you’ll be impressed enough that you become a regular visitor to the site, and a
regular customer as well.
- David Milchick